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Advice from UO Players: Want to buy a new "gaming" PC....

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Nemesis, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Nemesis

    Nemesis Seasoned Veteran

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    Never really bought a gaming-specific PC before - but looking to get one that is probably more mid-range (since I see some computers that are $2,000+ ... probably looking at a budget of anywhere between $500 - $1,000).

    Debating whether I want a laptop or desktop, could be persuaded either way -- but preference is probably laptop due to flexibility/portability.

    Only PC game I play right now is UO, but there are some other MMOs that are coming out that look good that I may start playing. I know UO isn't super-resource intensive, but if I could improve the performance as well....I'm game. :)

    Any suggestions from the UO player base? Is there anything within my budget that you would recommend?

    I am all ears.
     
  2. Vor

    Vor Grand Inquisitor
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    Are you willing to build one yourself from parts bought separately or are you after a pre-built one you can play out of the box pretty much?
     
  3. Nemesis

    Nemesis Seasoned Veteran

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    Good question. Which is the better route to go?

    Obviously a pre-built one is much easier for me. I'd need to figure out how to build the rig - don't really have that expertise. Is that something where someone with little-to-no knowledge can do?
     
  4. Nexus

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    That was my question as well, there are some serious pros and cons to consider for each route.

    Build Yourself

    Pros:
    1. You can shop around for better prices.
    2. You can choose what components are used to reflect your budget.
    3. You can consider ascetics as you'll have more options on how your tower looks.
    Cons:
    1. Building yourself requires a certain level of technical knowledge, not so much in the assembly but when picking the right parts.
    2. You have to deal with each components individual warranty if something is wrong and not one covering the entire machine.
    3. Any trouble shooting has to be preformed by you, and you alone, if something is wrong, in order to figure out if and what component is causing issues.
    4. Any "tweaking" has to be done by you and inexperience could result in damaged components which won't be covered by warranty do to the tweaking.
    Pre-Built

    Pros:
    1. They are pretty much plug and play, you typically don't need to know more than how to hook up all the various cables to your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and power supply.
    2. Optimization is usually done by the assembling company before shipping if requested, meaning it won't void the PC's Warranty.
    3. The Assembler will have a warranty on the completed machine.
    4. On the Assembler's website you can usually pick from a list of customizations, and you will be told if there are issues such as needed a beefier power supply etc.
    5. Free Upgrade deals are Awesome.
    Cons:
    1. Pre-Built gaming PC's generally somewhere around $200-400 more than the components due to markup for the company.
    2. The Optimizations of components is limited by what they offer, often builders have agreements with a small group of specific component manufacturers and will only offer their products as customization choices. This leaves you at times paying a higher premium for the better quality parts than if you ordered them yourself.
    3. Upgrades you do yourself in the future can void the warranty.
    Granted these aren't all the Pros and Cons, but they are a fairly relevant list that comes to mind easily.

    Some words of Advice, avoid anything that you find in a Wal-mart, Target, or most other big box retailers. The machines in store are only able to be offered at that price because they are stripped down models. E-machines for example are notorious for having under rated power supplies, and generic RAM in them. You can however find some much higher quality machines on their websites, which can be shipped to the store for pickup. Just do your research.

    If you are picking components for either a DIY or Custom Built machine, don't skimp on the CPU for a huge GPU. Having a top end Graphics Card does you nothing if the CPU is bottle-necking your games anyways. Try to find the best balance within your budget.

    RAM is important, make sure you get at least a minimum 8GB for a gaming machine, 16GB would be better, and make sure it is from a quality brand, such as GSkill or Corsair, Oh and Make sure you check the frequency the RAM operates at and that your Motherboard supports it.

    Modern Games are HUGE, UO has a lot in its whimpy 2GB install, many new games require closer to 20-30GB of storage on your Machine, so think about how much Storage you want.
     
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  5. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    These days, anyone with some common sense can assemble a PC. Everything only fits one way, and everything comes with instructions on how to install it. Just if you do a DIY, be extremely careful with a CPU, it's very easy to bend a pin on them risking ruining them. Since they are one of the most expensive components you really don't want to do that.
     
  6. Merlin

    Merlin The Enchanter
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    About 6 months ago, I got a Lenovo E540. Got it for approx. $1500, was able to get some upgrades, including improved processor, solid state drive, virus and malware protection, few other add-ons. Computer is cross functional, I can be running a video, websites, ICQ, TeamSpeak and UO without any issue or lagging. In game, I run faster than people who have third party speeder programs.

    I think Lenovo makes a good product. They have some gaming models too, I only passed on them because my computer needed to also be work functional.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Angel of Sonoma

    Angel of Sonoma Certifiable
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    i use a laptop to play uo. it does everything i need it to do. the screen is 15" which is sometimes too small. i had a 17" laptop which i didn't like lugging around.

    my system has an i7 processor and separate video. imo you do not want shared video memory for gaming on a laptop.

    i bought this system 2 years ago for $500 from the vendor's 'scratch & dent' website. it was a return but looked/performed like it was brand new. after it was delivered i discovered the wireless only worked when i was within 6 feet of my router. so i called the vendor, a tech came out and replaced the antenna in the laptop and it has worked flawlessly ever since. i play wired and wireless. you get a faster connection wired (good for EM events).
     
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  8. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    "gaming PC" - you gotta pick the games you want to play and work backward - let's say you want to play Witcher 3, not an MMO but a pretty incredible game - don't think you could find a PC under $1,000 with a video card that could handle it
     
  9. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I recently bought a new computer from a company I'd never heard of... like Merlin I spent about 1500... I bought my computer from Microtel... They used to make computers for WalMart from what I gather. Anyway they were pretty decent folk and I can't say ANYTHING bad about the computer I got. It's been running wonderfully from day one.
     
  10. Nemesis

    Nemesis Seasoned Veteran

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    Really appreciated all the feedback. Looks like I may need to increase the budget for a better machine.

    Since someone asked about games - right now i'm looking at UO, Shards, and Albion as the only three that I could probably invest time in and continue to have somewhat of a life.

    Does anyone else have any other good recommendations since we talking about games. MMOs in particular?
     
  11. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I've been playing Diablo III and Landmark which I wouldn't say is an MMO yet... Diablo is fun... I like the mindless killing.

    Landmark however at present is basically a pretty spiffy 3d paint program. I mean it has "caves" you can discover and there are 5 different mobs to hunt.. but 4 of them are ONLY found in caves and you have to search for them.... Otherwise it's sort of like UO in that you can "claim" some land and build on it. You just have to be pretty good at voxelmancy to build anything more than a simple block house. I love the mining and lumberjacking.... but as for interacting with others to do things it's not really there. As for RP it doesn't really exist there either yet. It's still in Beta but it's sort of on hold till they finish creating Everquest Next. Which fails to interest me. But to each their own I guess...

    I hear Shards is interesting... their is always that Garriott thing... I hear Arch Age is interesting. I had considered it for awhile.
     
  12. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Journeyman
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    Maybe look at some of the system requirements for the new games you're looking at, it will give you a better idea on what you'd be needing. If you're just playing UO I don't think you would want to pay the money for a high performance gaming machine.
    Edit: if you want to get one go for it, I'm just not sure it would make a huge difference for UO. I guess it also depends if you're playing classic or enhanced.
     
    #12 JohnnyO, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  13. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Shards is interesting, their approach is rather interesting. They are embracing player ran server culture, people who purchase the game will be allowed to host a single public server they can modify.

    Landmark is interesting, though I only check in on it from time to time, I'm not a voxel artist and from trying I can safely say I'll never be one. I'm looking forward to seeing Everquest Next in action though. Diablo III I will say is FUN, play it quite a bit. Shroud, I sent money to on kickstarter, but there's something about the game that's keeping me from really getting into it. Arch Age, I've heard mixed reviews on.

    By yea there are tons of games out there.
     
  14. Gamer_Goblin

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    Biggest tip I can give you is to register on Newegg.com and ask forums if they have any promo codes they can share from trusted PC sites. Also, if you login and browse stuff on Amazon they will email you deals afterwards.

    If you're going to build your own PC you'll need a Tower Case (Look for fans and aesthetics), Power Supply (Look for low power usage, but enough watts for all your parts), Hard Drive, Optical Drive (DVD Even if you don't want it, you still need it for your OS), Motherboard, Two RAM sticks of equal size, Processor (Splurge some money on this.), Video Card (Money not as important if you don't high end game.), and an OS.

    Read up on how to update drivers. Don't overclock things unless you know how. Don't cross-bridge vid cards unless you know how.

    You can build a computer that can play anything out on High settings for about $700.

    Example build...

    $60 Tower Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139018

    $40 Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    $85 Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157521

    $45 RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

    $40 Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD2AE0814

    $20 Optical Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106393

    $240 Processor (Use Promo Code EMCAVKR28 if ordering before 7/20)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117372

    $180 Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202112

    $690, but no OS, monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Will play most new games on high settings. Price is also without ANY promo codes, even the ones I've listed. OS is like Windows, in case you didn't know. You can get a cheapy windows and a free Win10 upgrade too.
     
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  15. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Nexus posted some really good information. I'm skimming so I apologize if I missed something, but I would suggest--whether you go laptop or desktop--to try and get a system with a solid state drive (SSD). If you're buying new, a SSD is a must. The main benefits are less heat (great for laptops), faster boot times, and faster program access, while the main drawbacks are cost (compared to traditional hard drives).

    For example, I have a quad-core Acer laptop that is supposed to have 1 GB of dedicated video (Acer Aspire AS5560G-Sb468), but it's running on a 500 GB hard disk drive (HDD) rather than a SSD and it just can't compete with the cooling of my desktop computers. I also found I did not like the brightness of the Acer screen, and I turned it down all the way I could. But like Nexus said, make sure to have at least 8 GB of RAM. If you go further than that, you need to make sure your computer and the operating system will allow you to go farther. Use Crucial for help when finding compatible parts.

    I made the computer I'm currently running about a year and a half ago, so about January 2014. Everything included cost about $1,000 (monitor not included), for what is a 4.0 GHZ octa-core computer w/ 16 GB RAM, Windows 7 OS, and 2 GB video. My main drive is a 120 GB SSD, and I have two HDDs with 1 TB each. At this point, I'm looking into cloning the 120 GB SSD onto a 512 GB or greater SSD; SSDs continue to fall in price. That's perhaps the best thing about a desktop computer, in that you can add more drives and bays easier. You can't do a whole lot of customizing with a laptop. But as Nexus said, consider that when you add a new graphics card or anything else to a stock desktop computer purchased at a store on online, you may very well need to replace the power supply unit.

    If you do go laptop, I'd suggest ASUS. They seem like one of the better brands, and it seems like they have models with the newer hybrid drives (HDD and SSD in one). If you go desktop, depending on where you want to start, either go with a pre-made system that has a good interface--IE, USB 3.0 ports on the front of case that you like--or think about case size, like mid-tower or full-tower. If you don't feel comfortable building the whole thing, consider looking into only replacing the power supply unit (PSU), the RAM, and adding a dedicated video. Use crucial for the RAM in that case, find a compatible graphics card (PCI-E x16 most likely), figure out if you'll need the graphics card to be low-profile (if you have a lot of need for cards in the back, like for wireless, etc.), then find out what kind of PSU wattage the graphics card will need. Then, examine the current PSU, and count up the connections you'll need to replace so that your new one will be able to connect to all of the devices you need to connect to.
     
  16. JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Journeyman
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    Thanks, very informative post.
     
  17. Nemesis

    Nemesis Seasoned Veteran

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    You all have been a wealth of knowledge. I'm going to do some research and post back. ;)
     
  18. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Good Luck.
     
  19. Nexus

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    Your PC is almost identical to mine, except I put in two video cards in Cross Fire. What by chance did you select for a Case when you were building it? I used this one.

    [​IMG]

    Rosewill Thor v2 Thing is huge, and came with the benefit of built in fan control knobs.
     
  20. Nexus

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    Defiantly take your time and make a sound decision, after all a Gaming PC isn't a cheap purchase, but if you build or buy a good system you'll be very satisfied with the results.

    And if you ever want to take out a second mortgage you can always buy this https://www.digitalstorm.com/configurator.asp?id=1240626
     
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  21. Gamer_Goblin

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    I'm gonna get that and hook my $20 mouse and keyboard from walmart up to it.
     
  22. Nexus

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    Oh man the money I've spent on peripherals

    Razer Deathstalker Keyboard, Nostromo Gamepad, and Naga MMO Mouse and the Corsair wireless headset probably put me back about $250-350 alone.
     
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  23. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    I think I have room for two video cards but with the CPU cooler things got tight. I'm also only using one monitor at a time, so I figured I might wait on testing out Cross Fire. I am, however, using a mid-tower Cooler Master N600 (the older type that has a mesh side rather than the panel):
    http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower/n600/

    I do recommend the N600, though, it does a great job of keeping dust out. I have two front fans, one back, one on top and the CPU cooler...and I opted for one front blue LED fan :) but no control knobs. I learned LEDs aren't cool for sleep, lol but have blue LED speakers, mouse, keyboard, and CPU.

    I think for my next build I might consider a full tower, but I'm not sure.
     
  24. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Exactly! My Razor Mouse, the G-13 Speedpad, my Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard (When only the best most comfortable keyboard will do).... the headset that I refuse to wear and sits 3 feet from me because I can't stand anything on my ears... The 4 or 5 headsets that I tested and tried because someone said they wouldn't hurt my ears... The Logitech 5.1 Surround sound speaker set... the 46"LED HDTV that I use as my monitor...
     
  25. Seelendolch

    Seelendolch Adventurer

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    Hehe, i know what you mean, with my razer black widow k/b and logitech g600 mouse i would have spent about 300
     
  26. Merus

    Merus Babbling Loonie
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    System fail... There is no way to connect that to my 56k dialup service!
     
  27. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    If it is for UO why waste your money, just about any computer off the shelf will run UO with no problem, that is what is so great about the game we all love.
     
  28. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    Little over kill for UO don't you think. LOL
     
  29. Nexus

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    For UO yes, Now if I wanted to run (4) 4k monitors playing the Witcher 3 or something, it might come in handy.
     
  30. Kojak

    Kojak Lore Master
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    the pc perspective hardware leaderboard is always up to date and very informative

    http://www.pcper.com/hwlb

    expand the 4 categories at the bottom of the web page - the high end / mid range / budget - etc.
     
  31. Yadd of Legends

    Yadd of Legends Certifiable
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    Also be aware that any PC can run CC, but EC requires more. My old machine couldn't handle EC - I don't recall the specs but it was pretty mid range when I got it a few years ago
     
  32. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Not really true..... newer computers run the EC 10X better than they can run the CC... I know. This is why I finally made the switch over 5 years ago.. the newer computer I bought kept stalling out in the CC... Like it was having some sort of hiccups all the time with it. I switched to the EC and things run smooth as silk.
     
  33. Gamer_Goblin

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    :violin:
     
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  34. Yadd of Legends

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    Don't know what to say to that - all I know is my old PC handled CC with no problem but EC was unplayable - depends on your video card probably
     
  35. a slave girl

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    If it needs to last a long time, the most important bit is to make sure it can be upgraded later. Most prebuilts, like my old HP I bought in 2006, may work fine for playing UO 10 years later but the motherboard can't accept the newest version of windows, so online security is no more.

    Going to use the HP as a stereo now I guess.

    :)

    I built my own with parts from Amazon, cost about $900, counting windows 8.1 full, and I researched online beforehand.

    Just google best midrange gaming processor, motherboard, memory, etc.

    Motherboard, processor and memory must fit together.

    I prefer Intel processors over AMD.

    It's fun to build your own, I could do that again.

    :)

    Not sure if you can build your own laptop.
     
  36. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    HP is notorious for putting in things to prevent you from upgrading your system. Looks like on my new PC I have plenty of room to upgrade... even has another Vid card slot should I decide to do something insane down the road.

    I was going to get an 8 core i7 but someone advised me against it saying that I'd get more "bang" for my buck off a specific i5 Quad.. and I must say I'm glad I did that. The computer runs awesome. I went with the 970GTX NVIDIA card... can't complain at all.
     
  37. Nexus

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    Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes it's the CPU, some of your early MMO's and many of your older games quite simply can't deal with really fast multi-core CPU's. I can't play EQ anymore on my desktop because the game client for this reason without going in an manually underclocking my PC.
     
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  38. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Best answer.

    Older comps actually run CC UO better than new ones except for the EC UO which is newer.

    I just ordered my daughter a new gaming computer for the up and coming xmas (she doesn't know yet so shhhhhhhh) from Alienware running with.....

    An overclocked Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme 6-core processor, Windows 8.1, 32GB Quad Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz and the Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 graphics with 8GB total (2x 4GB) GDDR5 - NVIDIA SLI® Enabled.